Creating in Limbo
As I'm writing this I'm currently in another lockdown in Melbourne, Australia, so far this is the 4th one in the past year. In 2020 we were in lockdown for 8 consecutive months with various restrictions put on us such as a curfew, traveling no further than 5kms from home. Basically the harshest lockdowns other than Italy.
What the Tuft?!
From childhood I have always been immersed in art. Any chance I could get, I would try a new way to create. Eventually I found a love for sewing in high school and with that passion I started designing clothing with the intention to go to school for fashion design. Unfortunately that didn't quite work out as my interest in fashion was so broad that I felt I needed to have more experiences than my college could provide. I began working in retail, studying cosmetology, studying graphic design, and studying the world always with how things translate into a more tactile art. I love textures and sculptural fashion more than anything.
I never planned on becoming a textile designer—even graphic design wasn’t on my radar—but I knew from the time I could hold a crayon that I was going to be an artist in some form or another. Sure, my childhood plan actually included being an art-making professional soccer player who also wrote books, but drawing and painting were always on the forefront of my mind. I didn’t realize until I grew up how much the textile prints of my childhood influenced my vision and color sensibilities, and more to the point, my outlook on the world, even.
A CRAFT THAT CHANGES LIVES....LITERALLY
I would never have imagined that a craft could literally change lives...but it has. A few years ago, I saw a beautiful sculpture of a mother holding a child’s hand which was so lifelike that it moved me to tears. The incredible detail that was replicated in each of their hands looked so lifelike that it was amazing. I could actually feel the love they shared just by looking at the sculpture. I couldn’t help but think how special this art piece must have been to both of them and how cherished it would be when the day came that this mother and child were no longer together on this earth. I also couldn’t help but think about my own mother whose beautiful hands I only got to hold for 18 short years before she lost her courageous battle with cancer at age 46. The sculpture I saw had such a profound impact on me that it motivated me to want to learn more about how it was created and to see if there was any way I could duplicate the process. Although I would never be able to create such a cherished memory with my own mother, I thought about what an amazing gift sculptures like these could be for others. I also thought that if I was able to create these beautiful pieces of art it would be a great way to honor my beautiful mom’s memory.
7 Reasons GIFs Spice Up All Kinds of Motivation
What is a GIF? A lossless format for image files that supports both animated and static images. While many may disagree, I believe GIFs can not only motivate us, but are the superior form of communication in many different scenarios. Also, they just make me happy and it can't be wrong if they feel so right.
Cards for a Cause
It was a day like any other, and I was online watching YouTube when an ad for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital started playing. I usually skip past the ads, but this one had me hooked. The story was so sad, and I was bawling by the end. I wanted to donate money, but being on a tight budget and already at my max for charity donations, I googled: "how to help children's hospitals." There had to be something I could do to help, and I wasn't close enough to volunteer. That's when I found Cards for Hospitalized Kids!
The New Mother and her DIY Yoga Mat Bag
When I first had my oldest son, I felt as though I would never get to be myself again or do some of the things that made me happy before becoming a parent. The needs of a newborn are all encompassing. And it's really quite overwhelming... at least it was for me. If you've been there, you know what I am saying. I don't say this to be ungrateful for the blessings but new motherhood is hard, y'all and if it wasn't hard for you, then you are extremely lucky and I will be the first in line to congratulate you! But seriously, you're lucky and I'm jealous.
How to Romanticise Your Life
I talked somebody off a ledge last month. He was a stranger, he was struggling, he was calling out for help. Whilst the entire thing took place online — and I don’t know quite how seriously he meant it — I wasn’t taking any chances. It was 1am, I was four seconds away from meeting Robert Pattinson in the dream realm, and then I caught sight of his plea. I knew of him, but I didn’t know him — and I knew I needed to help.
Rock. Paper. Scissors
“Create your own happiness”... This title reminded me of something my mom repeated to me growing up, often in the face of adversity. She’d say, “We Parker’s are powerful people Jillee, we make things happen.” This was her response to every roadblock that pummeled me, and trust, she who has lofty dreams is sure to be pummeled, because great joy must be balanced by great sadness. I decided 8 years ago, that all I wanted was to be happy, and I was determined to make that happen. I have an unconventional story, and to understand my love of scissors, my creative passion, and how I am still making my dream a reality, we must first start at the beginning.
As a young girl, I can remember sitting with my grandmother as she taught me how to sew. Her lessons taught me that discipline, patience, and focus can lead to beautiful results. Now, as a youth mentor, who seeks to inspire and empower youth to reach their full potential I want to give that same love back to my community.
Subversion in the classroom, one pair of pants at a time.
When you become a teacher, you know you are walking in the well-worn footsteps of the great and good (and not-so-good) who have come before you. You are well aware of the heavy responsibility of moulding the minds of the young of today, soon to become the adults of tomorrow. You are determined to not destroy any of those young minds, while at the same time hoping to actually, you know, teach them something.
Cutting, Pinning, Sewing Together Love
I never sewed in my life, nor was I ever really interested in sewing. When I was younger I wanted to be a fashion designer but I never learned how to sew. When I was still in High School we had special advisory classes we could take where we could choose an activity to learn and understand more about, and sewing was one of the many we could choose from. When it came time to choose I did not have any intention of choosing the sewing option and wanted to focus on something I knew I would enjoy. However my friend talked me into choosing it because she mentioned the teacher hosting the class was one we got along with very well, and we would not have to do very much. So after hearing this I said, “Sure why not.”.
I looked across the table of perfectly cut pieces of plants and moss intermingled amongst pebbles and sticks, water and soil to find a tear rolling down a beautiful blushed face. It was only just over an hour that I met this lady, the only one to turn up to my terrarium classes. This was not just about making a terrarium it was about discovering joy. The terrarium was the powerful tool and representation of what was shared in the morning.
One More Move
"Deep breath, your almost there. five moves through the crux sequence and your at the top.” Hundreds of feet of climbing lay beneath this weary rock warrior and the summit is within reach. Arms are shaking, and beads of sweat glisten in the hot sun. Sweaty hands are thrust into the chalk bag attached to the harness, and return to gripping the jagged limestone.
Finding Unexpected Joy In LockDown
Have you ever noticed those people who always seem happy? Not the annoyingly, boisterous, temporary happy, but the quietly, peaceful and contented people that have an illusive and contagious joy emanating from them. (I’m talking about the ones you gravitate to and just want to be in their presence, not the ones you want to punch.)
My passion is guilt wrapped. It is suffocated beneath my comforter. A year slipped by while I was asleep. As I lay, mummifying, I dream of who I once was. The girl who was always making. The girl with fabric pieces scattered on her floor and string stuck to her clothes. The girl with pin pricks in her fingers and needles in her bed. I couldn’t even remember when she died.
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